Lance Scranton: Coal on the run
August 4, 2015
Coal and the energy industry are taking some big hits this summer. Most of the body blows are courtesy of the federal arm of our government and their supporters. But the great thing about this fight is that we are only in the early rounds and the opposition's corner may change in the coming months. If you remember Muhammad Ali's famous "rope-a-dope" fight, you know that the battle is won in the late rounds if you can just hang on.
It feels like we're getting slammed in every direction, but unlike a Rocky Balboa battle, we're a real community with some amazing people who are battling to ensure our success and sustainability. Success is easy when we band together, educate ourselves about the issues and support our local officials who are fighting to ensure that our voice is heard. The latest reports indicate that the president's draconian power plant emission measures might help decrease temperatures by a miniscule amount and as progressives are fond of saying, "Hey, this is real progress!" Sure it is, but so is taking guns away from law-abiding citizens or protecting illegal aliens from the very laws that we follow — it's all a matter of perspective.
The perspective of a federal politician is very different than that of our locally elected officials. Sally Jewell isn't interested in visiting Northwest Colorado because she might encounter a human side to what is attempting to be enacted by the president. If she were to tour the power plant and the mine she might realize how clean and sustainable these crucial industries can be for our energy security. I imagine these office-dwelling, meeting-mania, rabid-regulator types looking over at the wall and wondering why all energy can't be as clean and wholesome as the type that is powering their devices as they make rules and regulations that have absolutely no effect on them.
Sustainability is a great word to throw around these days, and people love to latch on to anything that makes them feel like they are saving the planet which usually includes that cup of ethically-sourced, globally responsible coffee. It really makes you feel good, but the fact is you are still consuming, and your consumption doesn't usually decrease your environmental footprint. Consumption of a product is much like the consumption of an idea — you don't really know how it will affect you until it has run its course.
So, keep absorbing the body blows, deflect as many punches as you can and remember that we're in this for the long haul. I wish Rocky could come, and save us but he isn't real; Ali is too old, so we will have to count on each other to get through this battle together.